Illustration by: Robert Handwerk ©1997
Old Mauch Chunk
From its earliest days as a 'frontier town' in the first decades of the 1800s, Old Mauch Chunk, now called Jim Thorpe, has attracted visitors from all walks of life: artists, writers, travelers, touring parties, and enterprising entrepreneurs. Visitors famous, and not so famous, have discovered the enchantment of Old Mauch Chunk. Today, Jim Thorpe is blossoming in a period of rebirth. With beautiful old buildings, quaint narrow thoroughfares, and picturesque mountain scenery, it is a microcosm of America Victoriana. In 1992, the Swiss Tourist Board accorded it the name, "America's Little Switzerland."
Discover how the industrial outpost of Mauch Chunk became a prosperous coal shipping town and 19th century tourist Mecca, second to Niagara Falls in popularity. Relive the town's glory days when coal was King and tourism Queen. Learn of its economic demise and bizarre resurrection as Mauch Chunk traded its name for the name and body of 1912 Olympic hero, Jim Thorpe. Discover the feats and demons of Jim Thorpe,"The Greatest Athlete in the World."
Commencing with an overview and tour of the Mauch Chunk Museum, courses follow the historical continuum:
- Industrial Outpost in a Wilderness
- The Lehigh Canal:Lifeline of the American Industrial Revolution
- Mauch Chunk's Amazing Rollercoaster: The Switchback Gravity Railroad
- Mauch Chunk's Millionaires & The Social Scene
- The Tourist Influx
- Economic Decline
- Mauch Chunk Trades Its Name for a Body
- Jim Thorpe: All American
- Arts/Crafts courses
- Lansford #9 Anthracite Mining Museum
- Asa Packer Mansion
- Old Jail (site of the Mollie Maguire hangings in Carbon County)
- Mauch Chunk Lake Park
- Carbon County Environmental Education Center
- Bus Tour of Jim Thorpe area
Jim Thorpe, PA is located at the western edge of the Pocono Mountains. It is reached via the NE Extension of the PA Turnpike (I-476). From new exit 74/ old exit 34, Mahoning Valley, follow US Rte. 209 S. through Lehighton to Jim Thorpe.
Whitewater rafting, mountain biking, hiking, boating, swimming,
fishing, cross-country & downhill skiing.
Visit carboncountymagazine.com or www.jimthorpe.net to learn more.
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Museum Founder & Director: John Drury. Site Content Written by: Joan Gilbert.